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false security, sent him a handsome girl whom he passed
off as his daughter. The Prince was entirely duped, and
finding the Chief apparently submissive, relented and
began to treat him with kindness. This gave the crafty
Ghilzai the opportunity he desired. He invited Gurgin
Khan to an entertainment in a garden some distance from
Kandahar. There the guest and his attendants were set
upon and murdered, and the Afghans came at dusk in
their stead to the fort, Mir Vais wearing the clothes
and riding the horse of his victim. Admitted without
suspicion, they surprised the garrison, and, supported by
a preconcerted attack of their fellow-countrymen, they
cut off the Persians almost to a man, A body of Georgian
cavalry, six hundred strong, which happened to be absent
from Kandahar, was attacked on its return three days
kter. Performing prodigies of valour, this band of heroes
made good its retreat into Khorasan and confirmed the
news of the disaster to the Persian arms, which had already
thrown the country into a state of panic.1
The Consolidation of Power by Mir Vais.—After his
success Mir Vais showed energy and capacity in con-
solidating his power. He rallied various tribes to his aid
. by proclaiming independence, and even more by publish-
ing the documents obtained at Mecca. The contemptible
Court at Isfahan, instead of wiping out the disaster by
force of arms, attempted to treat, but Mir Vais detained
the envoy. " Be assured," he told him, " that the hour
of vengeance is at hand ; and that the brave Afghans are
the chosen instruments of God for the punishment of the
heretical Persians."
The councillors of Shah Husayn realized at kst
that there was no alternative to war. But at the outset no
serious efforts were made, and the Governor of Khorasan,
who was directed to subdue the rebels, was defeated again
and again. These successes increased the prestige of Mir
Vais and gave him time to strengthen his position.
His Two Victories over Persian Armies.—Goaded finally
into more vigorous action, the Persian Government
1 A somewhat different account of this disaster is given in vol. iv. of Histoire de la
Gecrgie by M. Brosset.